A Life In PC Gaming: My Shame

By Alec Meer on December 12th, 2011 at 1:28 pm.

I have, at least, never broken a monitor

I’ve been playing games on computers for the vast bulk of my life. From BBC Micro to Spectrum to 486 to assorted Athlons to the quad-cored radiator I used today, I’ve rarely been far from a keyboard. I have seen much, I have played much, I have learned much. But learning so often comes from failure. There have been many, many failures: these are but a few.

  • I spent what was then my life savings on a Voodoo 2 card – my first ever 3D card – specifically to play Half-Life. Excitedly fitting the card and installing the game, I was depressed by how poorly it performed, how the game would only run in software mode, and how any sequences that involved swimming were impossible because the entire screen turned flat, soup-thick grey. I should have bought an ATI Rage, I thought. I didn’t play many games for a while, because they either didn’t run or looked hideous. PC gaming wasn’t me for me, I decided – too expensive, too inconsistent, too mysterious. It was a full year before, when opening up my PC to fit a new hard drive, I realised the Voodoo was only resting lightly on the edge of its slot. A little gentle finger pressure later, a whole new world awaited.
  • Having breezed my way through Quake 1 on easy with only a few hundred deaths, I confidently accepted the challenge of an older acquintance to hook our PCs together with a serial cable and engage in dramatic deathmatch. I’d absolutely murder him, I was sure of it – and I told him so. I think I even bet him a Mars Bar or something. Of course, he knew what strafing was. I didn’t. And I was playing on cursor keys with left and right set to slowly turn rather than sidestep. And I wasn’t using a mouse. I believe, to this day, that this was the formative moment that made me primarily a singleplayer gamer, often nervous to the point of terror about stepping onto a server in case that dread childhood humiliation is repeated.
  • A little later, after my Voodoo 2-inspired sabbatical, the release of Aliens vs Predator led to my deciding to build a new PC from scratch. I’d never done this before, but I had upgraded pretty much every common component at some point or another. What could go wrong? Blazing, humiliating rows with the impatient manager of a PC hardware shop in Swansea coloured a full month of my student life, with him stubbornly refusing to refund what I’d paid for a motherboard that clearly did not work. I can’t remember how we worked out that I’d bolted the board directly onto the PC case – no static-blocking separators or washers or the like, just screwed straight onto the bare metal. The first time I turned the new build on, the motherboard and everything attached to it was instantly fried. So I never did get my refund from that angry Welshman. But I did send the motherboard back to its manufacturer, plead ignorance and somehow wangle a replacement.
  • I was convinced Thief was a jolly cartoon PlayStation platformer until around 2001. I have no idea what I was actually thinking of.
  • The first time I played it, I couldn’t complete Doom II without cheating. From the second level onward.
  • I managed to hack some ancient, incredibly basic but undeniably entertaining DOS game about trying to catch fish that fell from the sky with a basket so that the introductory screen declared I had written it. This copy of the game somehow made it all the way over school, most every pupil with access to the computer room spending their lunchtimes playing it. Normally something of an invisible man to my peers, for a short time I was approached with something like reverence. “Did you really make that fish game?” I’d smile smugly and say something like “oh, y’know, piece of piss.” My invisible status returned all too swiftly when another pupil wandered in one day with an elderly boxed retail copy of the Spectrum version of the game in question, whose manual declared a rather different author.
  • As a young boy impatiently wanting to access to my family’s PC so I could play more X-COM, I would occasionally sneak out to the garage and flip the electricity breaker switch to interrupt my mother’s word processing (she was studying for an Open University history course) in the hope she’d give up. “Another power cut?” I’d wonder innocently as she fumed. “This probably wouldn’t happen so much if we didn’t live in the middle of nowhere.”
  • In my initial forays into World of Warcraft – on its original beta – I had no idea whatsoever of MMO lingo. Playing primarly solo as a Night Elf priest, I fought what I believed to be a titanic battle against a pack of gnolls (about three), somehow surviving by a whisker. Another player had wandered up to watch me and my eventual victory, and as I self-adoringly wrote in a magazine preview of my experiences a little later, he uttered “way to go” in awe at my actions. Because I was amazing – he knew it, I knew it and the reading public of PC Format magazine should know it. Of course, what he’d actually said was ‘WTG’ as he’d spotted how cackhandedly I was fighting and thought I needed a hand, but I didn’t know the abbreviation for Want To Group? back then. Thank the lord not too many people were still reading PC magazines by that point.
  • I critically mis-described the Witcher 1 combat controls in a magazine review, which was then used as incontrovertible evidence by a small but very loud and utterly fearsome contingent of outraged Witcher fans as to why my 68% score for the game was because I was an idiot, rather than because I didn’t like it that much. I will, I suspect, never escape that shadow. (It was a lousy review in many other ways, in fairness – I’d been given way too short a deadline for a massive game, and did a horrid rush job. Lesson learned: I always take/ask for more time if I need it now, or pass the game onto someone else if I can’t/aren’t allowed to give it the hours required.) I still shudder.
  • I’ve said this before I know, but I was humiliated in front of my entire history class for drawing dozens crude Dune 2 Ornithopters on my exercise book when the teacher noted my lack of attention and asked me who Churchill was.
  • Believing it to be my likely big break, I sent a reader review of Deus Ex into PC Zone. It was 90% ranting some crazy grievance about ladders I can’t even fully recall now, and said nothing of the game’s achievements. Suffice to say they didn’t publish it, but I live in fear it still exists in someone’s inbox and could be unearthed.
  • I bought the PC version of Street Fighter II.

This is my shame. What is yours?

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376 Comments »

  1. AmateurScience says:

    I am heartened to discover that I’m not the only one here who’s blown up a PSU by experimentally flicking the voltage switch (‘I wonder if this will fix it?’). As well as the ‘screwing the mobo directly into the case’ issue. Other classic hardware snafus include:

    Accidentally switching on the computer whilst installing new RAM sticks and melting the mobo. My excuse: I thought you needed to keep the thing plugged in AND powered for ‘Earthing’ reasons and a bios reset had switched on keyboard waking – I brushed the keyboard and thing started to boot whilst I had it’s innards in my hands. I also nearly soiled myself in fright.

    Dropping my rather heavy (and hugely expensive) ATI 9800 Pro all in wonder card whilst installing it. Watching in slow motion as it fell directly onto the screen of my totally frivolous 17″ widescreen LCD (from 2004: it was pricey) and gouged a chunk out of the transfer layer.

    Finally: knocking a full can of Irn Bru into the case holding my venerable k600 (had to play with the sides off for thermal reasons) and watching as it died.

    Needless to say I stuck with consoles and a laptop for the latter half of the last decade. Only plucked up the courage to try another new build last year. That (so far) seems to be going much better.

  2. Inzimus says:

    as a kid (’bout 5 years old) – opened my older brother’s brand-sparking-new Commodore 64 (this was when the C64 just had been released) – since I was curious what made it work
    I somehow managed to ruin Joystick Port 2 – which is the Joystick Port most games use, hence effectively removing any opportunities to play all the awesome games, which required this port
    (fortunately we were able to play Way of the Exploding Fist, with one person on keyboard, the other on joystick)

    I bought a 8x CD-ROM drive, because TES II – Daggerfall recommended it, even-though I chose “full install”, hence not gaining anything but slightly shorter time to install the game

    I cut off all the buttons on my brothers Game & Watch’es (3 of ‘em), because I was pissed off at him

    even-though owning it since release and having put hundreds, if not thousands hours into it – I have never completed Morrowind (I like to free-roam)

    for years, and I do mean *years*, I was convinced that it was *fully possible* to use the gas-canister in Zak McKracken to power up the chainsaw in Maniac Mansion, if only I was able to transfer the files somehow – reason for doing this would be to cut down the branch by the swimming pool and using it as a step in the staircase in the library – to this day I have not given up hope, and I *refuse* to read a walk-through

    it would take 7 years (and a hint-book) for me and a friend to complete Bloodwych on the Amiga 500, due to getting stuck in the Serpent Tower – even-though we played it *extensively* throughout our child-hood/teens

    being in my early teens, my sister had bought herself a PC (486), something was “wrong” with it and she’d ask me to fix it (since I had a C64 since years past) – I opened up the BIOS and learned (the hard way) – *never* to mess about in there, unless I *know* what I’m doing… – that PC never started again, and I was never allowed near it, ever again

    it would take me almost 20 years from when I began playing Kid Icarus, until I finished it (playing it on and off during the years), mainly due to never having the patience to write down the code-words
    I spent 3 days awake playing through it a couple of years ago and haven’t touched it since, nor think I ever will

  3. postwar says:

    I bought a GeForce FX5200, the worst card ever made as an upgrade to my awesome GeForce 440MX.

  4. P4p3Rc1iP says:

    I wasted the first 2 years of my high school playing CS, and playing BF1942 the 2 after that. Then came MMO’s. Threw a good 7 years of education away for games really. Now I’m studying how to make them…

    Also; I must’ve been about 10 when I once sneaked out of bed downstairs to open up the family PC. You see, it was a pentium 2 233mhz with no proper videocard. It needed an upgrade because it wouldn’t run Half Life. I took a screwdriver form the cupboard in the hallway and started to undo some screws on it. I knew not too much about hardware, most of my theoretical knowledge came from PC-Gameplay (Dutch/Belgian magazine). I took off the side covers and started poking at all the bits inside with the screwdriver. Little did I know that Slot-1 Pentium 2 233MHz CPU’s cooling is just an added extra. I think in the end I managed to break just the wire from the fan. The PC booted fine…

    We didn’t get a new PC until months later.

  5. MFToast says:

    - I fried a $200 mobo by coughing on it… Yeesh.

    - In Rise Of Flight multiplayer, I was saluting Ground Fire for a whole month, thinking it was an actual player shooting me down relentlessly.

    - I wasn’t able to play Battlefield 2142 for several weeks after getting it because I thought a “1″ was an “I” in the CD key.

    - My very first Mech Warrior 3 online game.

    - My very first Diablo 2 online game.

    - Thought “OMW” meant “Oh my word” in DDO.

  6. Sorbicol says:

    Rage. The emotion not the game. 5 keyboards and 3 mice destroyed due to nerdraging at games when I really should know better….

  7. Xan says:

    My shame:

    I bought AvP 2010 at full price

    I spent money on a few F2P MMO’s

    I never properly learned how to build a new PC from scratch.

  8. roryok says:

    I never finished Halflife, Deus Ex, Thief, Grim Fandango, Diablo, Stalker, Vampire: The Masquerade, Braid, Mass Effect, L4D, L4D2

    I never even played Deus Ex 3, Thief 1/2, Full Throttle, Baldurs Gate 1 & 2, System Shock, Syndicate, any Civ game that wasn’t Civ 2, Fallout 1 or 2, Command & Conquer, Any of the Ultima games, any Red Faction games, Kings Quest, Trine, Gothic, Sins of a solar Empire, Freespace Homeworld, Star Control, Frontier, Inferno, GSB, Multiwinia, Dwarf Fortress, MINECRAFT, Super Meat Boy, VVVVVV, Project Zomboid, Counter Strike, any of the Total War series, Planescape, Tribes 1 or 2, Mass Effect 2, Stalker Clear Sky, or the newest one

    Oh God. WHAT HAVE I DONE WITH MY LIFE!

  9. kikito says:

    Bought one of those “Vista-compatible” PCs.

    Shame on me.

  10. MoeGreen says:

    Some wonderful little stories here. Thanks to everyone for sharing. Here are a few of mine…

    - I was deftly afraid to shutdown our first family computer for fear it would not turn back on due to the old Windows 3.1 prompt that read something like “Do you wish to end your Windows session?”

    - I once believed Holiday Lemmings ’93 was the pinnacle of gaming.

    - I installed Raptor: Call of the Shadows on the family computer. I played it for about an hour right after the install and it was awesome. I have no idea why, but the game never ran again after that. I was heartbroken.

    - For months I played Metaltech: Battledrome not realizing I could move the mech around the arena. I had just played by staying glued to the starting platform and rotating the torso.

    - I played all of my early DOS, Windows 3.1, and Windows 95 games without sound. The computers my family owned did not have speakers and I never even knew I could hook them up. From SimCity to Incoming. No sound whatsoever.

    - I frequently convinced my parents to let me play those shoddy America Online $0.99/hr persistent 1st person shooter games. There was a paintball one and Magestorm. Sadly, I never understood how to even find fights in the Battletech: Solaris one.

    - The first MMORPG I played was Anarchy Online. I stepped into the starting area for the first time as a sniper character. I was in the 1st person view and selected an alien rat as my first opponent. I hit the ‘attack’ key and was utterly confused why I could not aim the rifle manually with my mouse.

    - I bought a used copy of Baldur’s Gate 2 about 5 years ago and was not able to progress past a single door in the introductory dungeon. I never attempted the game again.

    - I purchased Far Cry 2 on release day in hopes of an awesome team-based online experience. What a mistake. I have no idea where I got this idea from.

    • thegooseking says:

      Speaking of Anarchy Online…

      I quickly ran out of inventory space, and complained that I didn’t have enough space for all my lockpicks. I didn’t realise they weren’t expendable (my sole experience with lockpicks in games prior having been Deus Ex) so I had run the starter quest to get a lockpick multiple times to build up my stock.

      I also chose melee advy for the sole reason that I thought buying ammo would be too expensive…

  11. Urthman says:

    The control scheme I use for all First Person Shooters is a legacy of the weird “hands on the typing home row” control setup I used when I first played Descent, without a mouse or joystick.

  12. Italia says:

    Years and years ago, upon building my first computer, I was placing the new processor down on the motherboard, and in all my ignorance and brutish rage, I snapped the MoBo in half.

  13. Artist says:

    I prepurchased Cortex Command 1000 years ago and still hope it will be finished someday. Shame on me…

  14. Post-Internet Syndrome says:

    I managed to convince my parents to buy me Odens Öga (“Odin’s Eye” in this crude anglic tongue), a tie-in game for a Swedish TV-show. It was much more expensive than most games back then, and was completely rubbish. Always crashed at the end of the first level. And it was public service TV too!

    For several years, cheating was my primary mode of experiencing most games. Commandos and Oni are both games that I hardly got past the first level on without invincibility. I have later finished Oni two times, but still only made it to the 12th level or so of Commandos. I did manage to finish all but the last level of the expansion to Commandos just the other year.

  15. StingingVelvet says:

    My gaming PC around 2005 blew up, basically. My response due to finances at the time was to buy an eMachines PC at Best Buy for like $400 and then slap my video card into it. I figured that would hold me off a year or so until I could build an entirely new rig.

    It actually worked. Performance was shitty because of all the cheap parts and the crappy processor, but I played games that year and never had any big issues. Well… when I opened the case to remove my GPU and put it in my new rig a year later there were literally scorch marks inside the case from the heat that sucker put off. That was kind of scary… I pay much more attention to temps now. Still, that piece of shit got me through the year.

  16. thegooseking says:

    I am reading this on a Mac.

  17. EOT says:

    I don’t like games that challenge me…and I think the keyboard is the worst input device for games requiring precision movement ever (seriously shooters, platformers and schmups would be so much better with the 361 degrees of movement an analogue stick offers rather than the 9 offered on a keyboard.
    This minor rant was inspired by the horrid controls of the Binding of Isaac and Trine.

    • Abundant_Suede says:

      Fair enough, whatever works for you. But I’d just point out that with properly designed PC controls, a mouse+move keys has infinite range of movement, not 9 directions, and is far more responsive than syrupy analogue stick moment. That “only 4-8 directions with a mouse+kb” chestnut is a fallacy.

      Blame the software, not the hardware.

  18. Ergonomic Cat says:

    I spent over 100 hours playing Tongue of the Fatman as a child.
    At one point in my life, I had the max number of characters on two WoW accounts (55 at the time). A few were my daughters.

    I’ve totally done the force reboot in embarrassment thing.

    • mellis5 says:

      I sure hope you’re missing an apostrophe on the word “daughters” or you really did take the game a bit too seriously.

  19. kimadactyl says:

    I once thought the 10 ten chart was the actual top 10 best games. Like, the number of sales was how good it was. I thus ended up buying “shadow warriors” on the Amstrad CPC 464. It was terrible.

  20. kimadactyl says:

    Oh, and:

    I got a boxed copy of the original Maniac Mansion and it didn’t come with the code wheel disk. I thought the door that you had to open with it was a puzzle, and as a result didn’t get very far. It was only when I played it again on the computer in DOTT the penny dropped. Doh.

  21. Thecreeperskg says:

    Before you start reading this you need to know that I live in Greece – it is essential to grasp what that means in term of PC gaming, before I start my story. PC gaming in Greece didn’t start until 1998-2000 and even then it was purely orientated in LAN gaming in net cafes. DSL internet came to the country in 2005 at a snail-pace 512Mb connection initially – even now I have a 24Mb connection, when other lucky buggers enjoy 100Mb ( I know, I used to have that in Dublin!!!) So, with that in mind, I beggin my story of shame…

    1) Back in the early ’90s my father went to Germany and upon his return I received my first ever PC, a Commodore 64. To my teen eyes that light-brown keyboard represented the bleeding edge of technology, the true and beautifull world of bits and bytes and exploding things like in “Midnight Resistance”. It was only after I did some research and found out about Amiga 500, that my father said that he had a choice between the Commodore and the Amiga and he went for the first one “because the other one looked rather cheaply made”. Oh the humanity….

    2) Adding insult to injury, my father bought me the TAPE recorder as external drive, instead of the 5″ floppy disc driver…

    3) I could not play “Beyond the forbidden forest” on my piece-o-shit Commodore due to the sheer terror and disgust every time the freegin worm ate my skinny character. I still have nightmares over the crunchu sound.

    4) I bought “Ghostbusters” from a pirate shop without any instructions on how to play the game. Consequently I never even passed the initial level because I didn’t know what the hell to do in that game…

    5) Never really having the money to buy a proper gaming rig, I spent 4 years in a net cafe playing all the games that I loved almost daily during my college years. In hindsight I spend sooooo much money in that cafe, ammounting close to a new Alienware FULLY specked every damn year for those 4 years!!!

    6) I played “AOE:Conquerors” with my friends in that cafe on 31/12/2002 at 23.00, the shop closed for an hour in order for the staff to change the year with their family, and we went right back at it at 00.30 new year’s day.

    7) Same thing happened at Easter night – which in Greece is EVEN bigger then New Years night!!

    8) If you managed to read all the way to here then I congratulate you, you are a true PC gamer. (Also, you must have played every “Elder Scroll” game ever to the end….no other way to explain your patience)

  22. Matt_W says:

    Great article!

    - I spent several hours inputting a game from a computer gaming magazine on my old TI-99/4A . You know, the ones where the whole game program in Basic is listed in 20-30 pages of the magazine. I was 90% done inputting it and had to go to school, so I shut off the TV, then by reflex, shut off the computer console as well. I, of course, hadn’t fired up the tape drive at any point. It took approximately 0.5 seconds to realize what I’d done and fire out the first curse words my 7-year-old self had ever used.

    - I remember spending countless hours trying iteration after iteration of the autoexec.bat file so that I could try to get Ultima VII to run — never successful until the PC was upgraded, but I just needed a few more kilobytes…. so frustrating.

    - Spent hours and hours tying up the family phone line trying to download a (HUGE) 1MB game from a gaming BBS through my 1200 baud modem only to discover that there was no way it was going to run on our PC.

    - Not gaming related, but hilarious. I was working tech support in a computer lab in college when I had a distraught female student come rushing up to my desk. Her computer had suddenly shut off for no reason and her paper (which of course she had not saved) was now lost. I wondered over to her station to see if I could resurrect it from auto-backups or something and had to patiently explain that if you didn’t use the mouse and keyboard for a few minutes the screensaver would come up and blank out the screen. I managed to not laugh until I was off-duty.

  23. Reapy says:

    We had a trainer for ultima 8. My dad was playing through the game using it to basically just warp across jump puzzles, but one night I decided to try out everything it had and started trying to basically kill everybody in the pyro area by having huge spell duels. I think I went through and accidentally finished up the game. I immediately felt guilty about it because of the hours and notes my dad put in, and then I noticed that the menu had changed to indicate the game was finished, so I assumed I had basically wrecked the experience for him.

    So using my clever 15 year old noggin I went into the game directory and started going through the game files deleting anything that said ‘ending’ in it hoping to remove the new artifact and hide my shame. Well sure enough I got it to the point of the screen being ‘normal’ again and thought I was all good.

    When my dad got home he started cursing at the pc trying to figure out wtf was wrong with the game. It was at that point that i guiltily admitted to my handywork. Luckily I think everything was managed to recover, but I guess I can’t think wtf I thought i was doing randomly deleting files out of the game or why it even mattered if I had powered through the end of the game first.

  24. Savage Henry says:

    I’ll put my hand up to bad PC building and screwing the motherboard to the case. I also managed to snap a capasitor off when fiddling around with the jumpers. A quick bit of solder and back it went to the shop, where I lied through my teeth about it not working. They didn’t have any of that model in stock, so I got a free upgrade to boot.

    I am probably going to Silicon Hell for this.

  25. Om says:

    I still save/load in Civ

  26. Faldrath says:

    I bubbled in WSG while carrying the flag.

  27. Tyraa Rane says:

    My top shame at the moment: I can’t go cave-diving in Minecraft unless the difficulty’s on Peaceful. I’m not sure why this is. I played through SH1 through 3 (still need to get ’round to 4) and Amnesia with only needing to change my pants a few times, but when it comes to swanning around in the dark in Minecraft, for some reason I skip directly to the “NOPE” center of my brain.

    I think it’s the combination of the unknown (not knowing what’s around a corner is always more frightening for me than knowing there’s a terrifying monster what wants to eat my face there), the maze-like twisty passages, ninja Creepers and frakking Endermen. God, the Endermen.

    I’m getting better at it–I now regularly fight Endermen I come across on the surface in the daytime, and I do just fine in mineshafts I’ve dug for myself. Caves are still a no-go for the most part, though. Sigh. I feel like I’m missing half the challenge of the game, but every time I make an attempt at spelunking I just go “NOPE” and toggle the difficulty down.

    Other shames:

    - I have a 150+ game backlog, but I keep buying games (dammit, Steam sales) and playing titles like Minecraft and LotRO instead.

    - putting 800+ hours into Oblivion. I don’t even like the game that much (Morrowind is still my favorite TES game), but I happened to pick it up at a time when I was extremely depressed, and I suppose it served as a suitable escape/comfort zone for my brain–I pretty much did nothing but go to work, come home, eat dinner and play Oblivion, then go to bed, day in and day out. I’m doing better now, but every time I look at Oblivion in my Steam gameslist and see the “810 hours played” I just cringe a little at the memory. :/

    - was a total adventure game snob in my younger years and classed Half-Life as garbage just for being an FPS. Didn’t actually play HL1 until 2009, when I bought it during a Steam sale. Finally saw the error of my ways, at least.

    - somehow managed to partially fry my PSU (PC would boot but randomly shut down) while installing a new GPU. Yes they were compatible, yes I was grounded, and no I didn’t toggle any of the wrong switches. I still have no idea how I did that. Took almost a week for the shop guys and I to figure out WTF I’d gone and done, too, because of the way the problem presented itself. Sigh.

  28. rapier17 says:

    I don’t think I have enough space or time to go through all of my gaming shames, all 24 years of it so far. Think my worst, that I can recall, was attempting to play a trial of Ultima Online on ye olde dial-up which, on our single land-line, blocked the entire phone line. It wasn’t until I turned the internet ‘off’ that our phone rang. Turned out my grandfather had had a stroke and our relatives had spent two hours trying to get through to tell us. Needless to say I didn’t play games online again after that until we finally had broadband (and I a decent PC to game on. Hurrah!).

    Just one other quick one: There was a time when my older brother had a better gaming PC than me, roughly during the time when the first Hidden&Dangerous came out. He was playing Broken Sword, I think it was, and I wanted to play it. So whilst he was at college I started my own playthrough and purposefully noted not to accidentally overwrite his save which was near the end. No marks for anyone who can guess what I did.

  29. Soon says:

    I wrote adult interactive fiction based on the X-Files. When I was 10.

  30. Lobotomist says:

    I still remember that Witcher 1 review. Based on that I beheld you as a piss poor reviewer for a long time.

  31. Skater983 says:

    I’ve never beaten the first level of Deus Ex
    I played Baldurs Gate 2 for 10 minutes and stopped and never played it again
    I spent more time installing Oblivion Mods than playing Oblivion
    I broke the Pci slot off of my first motherboard trying to get the gpu out.
    I bought a Wii to play super smash bros
    I hate Counterstrike, I just don’t like it
    I never finished morrowind
    I beat Dragon Age 2 three times
    I have no idea what half life 1 is about even though I beat it twice
    I bought Fallout 3 on xbox thinking my PC couldn’t run it. I was wrong.

    I think that about covers it.

  32. Ajh says:

    We all have moments of shame…

    Let’s see..I used to resurrect idiots who got in too deep in Diablo 1 and they’d give me a duped item in return.

    I was a mac gamer from 2000-2002.

    And my biggest shame:

    I used tears to get a manager to take a closer look at my account in what was just becoming gamestop, because when eb and gamestop merged they lost my preorder for guild wars factions collector edition, and he just wouldn’t even LOOK at the inconsistencies of my account. It’s the only time I’ve ever used the female gamer card, since I hate women who use it as a means to get things.

    On the other hand, when he LOOKED at the account he saw I somehow had a $50 pre-ordered copy of twilight princess and a $70 copy..wait what? There hadn’t been an entry for guild wars in gamestop’s database to match the eb one so it just took the other item and put it there. I got my collectors edition a week later. (I’d thought to check on it before the game came out.)

  33. Fadakar says:

    I played through all of Fallout 3 with god mode on, no worrying about weight and health.

  34. Keymonk says:

    These are all wonderful! Unfortunately, I’ve mostly suppressed all the shameful stuff I’ve done.

  35. patricio says:

    The first thing I did when I discovered you could emulate a Spectrum on a PC was to use a walkthrough to complete Pajamarama. The anti-climax was awful.

  36. mongpong says:

    I remember being about 10 and borrowing Daytona 500 (or something like that) for the Amiga 500 from a friend. Sat there for about 3 hours pressing buttons over and over again to try and make the car accelerate but couldn’t work it out. Finally got my dad to phone my friends house and take instructions from him on how to make it work whilst I sat at the computer. The only instructions my dad gave me was “he says hold the space bar down”…and off the car went.

    Bought the game Breed for PC. It was awful, I even knew it was gong to be awful as the reviews said so…but the graphics looked awesome and I had convinced myself that the game was going to be amazing for some reason. Fail…it was awful.

    • mongpong says:

      Oh and I remember explaining to my dad’s friend that if you put the write protection on a floppy disc then it became indestructable and you can drop it on the floor and throw it around and all the data will stay safe…thats what you get when you ask a 10 year old to teach you how to work a computer. Oh and by the way, I wasn’t doing this to trick someone, I actually believed what I was saying to be true.

  37. YourMessageHere says:

    I have a thing for replacement models – guns, people, cars, anything. I collect them; I use them too, but I just looked and I have a 3.5Gb folder full of 7000 files, many of which I’ve never used, and that’s not all of them, and doesn’t include the other directory of textures. It’s for damn sure that in many cases I’ve spent more time hunting replacements out and tweaking them to my liking than playing the games they’re designed for.

  38. quercus says:

    Not really a shame issue, but back in the days of Windows 95 I installed the Star Trek Encyclopaedia software only to find that for some reason all the colours on my PC had developed a blue tint. I tried configuring the graphics card, uninstalling and reinstalling the software but nothing worked. In desperation I decided to wipe the Windows installation and reinstall it, during which I noticed that the monitor cable into the PC was slightly loose…..

  39. Nathan says:

    I can’t complete the tutorial of Deus Ex.

  40. MrEvind says:

    I have a video game that my mom bought me in early 2000 I never even opened or tried. It’s still there, unopened.

    • Rinox says:

      Was it one of those awful shovelware video games they sell at big chains that are clearly only hoping to ever be profitable because unwary mums/dads/grandparents buy them? Y’know the type of games that aren’t even mentioned or reviewed on any site or in any magazine, yet continue to exist? It’s like they exist in a dimension of their own, outside of ‘actual’ gaming.

  41. Vartarok says:

    I broke a wood chair because a dude stole me 20 gold coins in Tibia, the shittiest mmo on this planet.

  42. thesonglessbird says:

    I bought PowerVR instead of 3DFX.

  43. heledir says:

    I entered the IRC part in Uplink, not knowing it was a real IRC channel. So I just asked a question, received an answer by a bot and thought “Wow, nice simulation of an IRC.” Before realizing it was a real channel, I just cursed the hell out of it. I haven’t touched the game ever since.

  44. CVraden says:

    I did the exact same thing to my motherboard when I built my first PC. I had no idea what I could be doing wrong for the longest time until I saw my more knowledgeable friend put in a motherboard himself.

  45. BlitzThose says:

    I bought brink, and even worse breach. also I did something very similer to your motherboard mishap on my first ever full system buld luckily though nothing got fried.

  46. aldo_14 says:

    Erk.

    The first PC we ever got was a might 486DX2, with dodgy copies of Doom 2 and Simcity 2000 installed. I cheated through the former. It took me two weeks and someone from school to figure out how to place power lines on the latter (having otherwise resorted to bodging power plants in the middle of city blocks).

    I once returned a pc complaining the sound was broken. I’d put the headphones socket into the motherboard rather than soundcard output.

    Managed to destroy a motherboard by getting a piece of dust caught inbetween a new RAM stick and the slot.

    Managed to mysteriously set fire to a Geforce 5600. This one may not be entirely my fault.

    Accidentally bought a server case instead of an ATX (The difference? about a metre in height)

    I once bought a game because I (literally) felt sorry for it being on sale for 50p.

    I own but have never played Team Fortress 2. I didn’t ever finish Portal, either.

    I bought a brand new 9800GTX+, and then a gaming laptop upgraded to an i7, with the intent of finally being able to play GTA4 at a decent draw distance and >20 framerate. It didn’t work.

    I own but have never completed Morrowind, Oblivion, or Fallout 3. I almost bought Skyrim.

    There are at least 30 games I have bought and never played.

  47. mR.Waffles says:

    I’ve bought every single release this year, but still spend most of my time in Counter-Strike.

  48. greenbananas says:

    It took me hours upon hours and a lot of stabbing walls in complete darkness while drawing a map by hand as well as hundreds of quicksaves/loads to get me through two VC tunnels in Vietcong. It was only when I decided to replay the game about a year later that I find out you can use a flashlight.

  49. Abundant_Suede says:

    I still use a massive 24 inch desktop CRT.

    I find the picture superior to all but the most expensive LCDs for the graphics work I do (and gaming), and it still works fine.

    You can pull it from my cold, dead corpse after it inevitably falls over and crushes me.

    • greenbananas says:

      Same here. Mine’s 19 inch and cost me peanuts 2nd hand. And when it dies, I’ll have it replaced by another CRT that’ll cost me next to nothing. In that sense, I absolutely love LCDs (and the people that buy them to replace their “ugly” CRTs).

    • MattM says:

      I miss my 70 lb crt. I got it at a garage sale for next to nothing and it was the best monitor I have ever had. It was a fairly recent (~2003) professional grade monitor that did 2048 × 1536 @ 120 hz. I have though about trying to get a replacment, but my 120Hz LCD is almost as good and much lighter.

  50. Avish says:

    - The first time I downloaded a mod for a game, was for tomb raider.
    Guess what it did? :D

    - When I was 12 or maybe 13, I spend the night at a friends house to play Leisure suit Larry. We were quite excited when Larry died because he didn’t use a condom when having sex with a hooker, even though we had no idea why…

    - I’m almost 38 years old, I have a career, a wife and two kids, and I’m seriously thinking about faking a flu, so I can stay home and play Skyrim.

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